Michael Moncek, a native of Chicago, had three World Series of Poker Circuit rings on his poker resume. But he had never won the game’s ultimate prize, a WSOP gold bracelet.
That has now changed after Moncek won Event #13: $1,500 Limit Hold’em, defeating Ben Ross after a back-and-forth heads-up match to earn the $145,856 top prize.
Moncek admits he had never played Limit Hold’em before this tournament. He had come to the WSOP expecting to play as many events as possible, and this one just happened to be the only event on the schedule that day.
“It feels awesome, especially in a game that I’ve never played before,” he said following his win. “I’m going to have to learn to play it now.”
Moncek had live tournament winnings of around $235,000 before this event. His best finish in a WSOP bracelet event was 16th in the Salute to Warriors tournament in 2019. Earlier this week, he had a chance to add to his career totals in a big way in the $25,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em tournament, but he was eliminated two spots shy of the money.
He didn’t get too bothered by that loss. He just jumped right into the next tournament he could find. “You just have to go win the next tournament you play,” he said about overcoming that disappointment.
Day 3 Action
Day 3 began with 16 players remaining out of a starting field of 522. A burst of action saw three eliminations within the first 10 minutes of the day. By the time the final table was set, Moncek was second in chips to 2015 Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, and it would be in two pots against McKeehen that he would take control of the tournament.
Early on during the final table, McKeehen had made the nut straight while Moncek was holding a set of tens. The river paired up, giving Moncek a full house and the big pot. He would later eliminate McKeehen in fifth place in another cooler, both flopping a straight on a board of . Moncek’s, though, was higher with .
Moncek also knocked out Christoph Kwon in fourth and bracelet winner Yueqi Zhu in third place, setting up a heads-up battle with Ross. With Ross’ loud and exuberant rail cheering him on, Moncek ignored the noise and came back from a significant chip deficit. On the final hand, he made a flush with to crack the two pair of Ross.
Event #13: $1,500 Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
|1||Michael Moncek||United States||$145,856|
|2||Ben Ross||United States||$90,150|
|3||Yueqi Zhu||United States||$63,314|
|4||Christoph Kwon||United States||$45,178|
|5||Joe McKeehen||United States||$32,761|
|6||Steven Wolansky||United States||$24,149|
|7||Fred Lavassani||United States||$18,100|
|8||Nick Pupillo||United States||$13,798|
|9||Lee Markholt||United States||$10,701|
Moncek isn’t going to stop playing every tournament in sight, even with the bracelet in his possession. His goal is simple. “To win Player of the Year, what else,” he said.
Moncek did have one supporter on the rail during the final table, his friend Adam. They celebrated the victory together, but now it’s right back to work. Moncek’s plans for tomorrow:
“Register for the next tournament,” he said.
That concludes PokerNews’ coverage of Event 13. Follow along the rest of the 2022 WSOP at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas for all the action.